Fest spotlights best Polish films, int'l titles

PRAGUE — The Warsaw Film Festival will toast an upbeat year — with a record number of Polish pics produced — at its gala opening Friday.

Auds at the towering Communist-era classic, the Palace of Arts and Culture, will see Russian wartime love story “The Edge” by Aleksei Uchitel.

The Polish Film Institute has backed many of the 60 new native features out this year, all the more impressive in a region where other former Eastern Bloc countries have been struggling with arts cutbacks and state austerity measures.

Fest’s growing docu section, with 24 pics competing, will feature “Eye over Prague,” the controversial look at visionary architect Jan Kaplicky’s thwarted plan to revolutionize the Czech national library, Mark Henderson and Kate Horne’s compelling hostage story “My Kidnapper,” from the U.K., and Eugene Jarecki’s “Freakonomics,” alongside entries from across Europe and Latin America.

Fest will wrap Oct. 17 with the exhaustively researched 3D reconstruction of pre-war Warsaw, Damian Nenow’s “The City of Ruins,” a project of the Warsaw Rising Museum and Platige Image that will allow auds to glimpse what might have been had the city not been systematically leveled by the Nazis.

Fest also honors first and second features of 18 emerging helmers and will screen 135 features from more than 50 countries.

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